Last month, Politico quizzed some right-wing leaders to get their thoughts on the prospect of John McCain tapping Joe Lieberman as his running mate … and they weren’t pretty:
“Lieberman’s a great pick for McCain if he doesn’t want to be president,” said Tony Perkins, a Christian conservative leader who is the president of the Family Research Council.
Fellow social conservative leader Richard Land, the former director of the Southern Baptist Convention, called a possible Lieberman vice presidential pick “a catastrophe.”
“This would be the kind of thing that could destroy McCain’s campaign for the presidency,” added Don Devine, the vice chairman of the American Conservative Union. “McCain might like to do this in some deep recesses of his heart, but I can’t believe at the end of the day he would do it — and if he did, it would be disastrous. Lieberman is just too far out of any idea of conservatism. It’s just crazy idea.”
“Lieberman is an impossible vice presidential choice,” said Grover Norquist, a conservative anti-tax activist. “You don’t average out a guy who votes hard left on economic matters because he has enthusiasm for occupying Mesopotamia.”
Lieberman has now been tapped to speak at the Republican Convention and the Washington Times is reporting that there are signs that McCain may seriously be considering him for the ticket and that GOP officials are scrambling to figure out how to stop it, even if that means rejecting him on the convention floor:
Officials with John McCain’s campaign made a series of conference calls Monday and Tuesday with supporters nationwide to say that Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman may be named as the Arizona senator’s vice presidential running mate, immediately sparking a frenzied effort by some state Republican officials to come up with a strategy to head off such a move, The Washington Times has learned.
Concerned state GOP officials on Tuesday discussed by telephone and e-mail whether to organize delegates to reject Mr. Lieberman if his name comes up for a floor vote for the vice presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention — if Mr. McCain actually does name him, either before or at the beginning of the Sept. 1-4 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.
But heading off a Lieberman pick beforehand would avoid having to embarrass the GOP nominee by publicly rejecting his judgment on the choice for vice president at a convention watched on television by much of the nation.